The Organization of Eritrean Americans (OEA) has once again asked UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and the United Nations Security Council to stop Ethiopia’s lawlessness and demand an immediate and unconditional implementation of the final and binding ruling by the Eritrean-Ethiopian Boundary Commission (EEBC).
In a letter, dated March 5, 2004, the grassroots organization also expressed its deep concern about efforts being made to create an alternative mechanism to the EEBC and its final and binding ruling. “We appeal to [the UNSC]…….not to be a party to anything that implies the creation of an alternative mechanism to the final and binding legal decision, wittingly or unwittingly,” the OEA said. The OEA also urged the UNSC “to take the appropriate punitive measures against the party that has failed to abide by this legal decision.”
Here below is the full text of the OEA letter. ___________________________________________________________________________________
The Hon. Kofi Annan
March 5, 2004
Secretary General The United Nations
New York, New York
Dear Mr. Secretary General,
We, Americans of Eritrean descent in the nation’s capital and the states surrounding it, respectfully submit this letter to your excellency and the UN Security Council to express our deep concern over Ethiopia’s continued rejection of the ruling by the Eritrean-Ethiopian Boundary Commission (EEBC). We are also very much concerned by the continued effort to create an alternative mechanism to the independent commission and its ruling.
The fundamental tenets of the Algiers Agreement, which was signed by both countries in your presence, endowed the independent commission to deliver a final and binding decision to delimit and demarcate the border. Furthermore, the Agreement clearly defined the terms for taking punitive measures if one or the other party failed to honor its promise to abide by the decision.
Eritrea has unconditionally accepted the decision of the Commission because of its treaty obligations, not because it received all that it deserves. Ethiopia on the other hand has rejected the decision and has insulted the commission by calling its decision "unfair", inflicted with "terminal crisis", "null and void," etc. Ethiopia has since modified its harsh language and is peddling the absurd concept of having accepted 85% of the EEBC decision.
Your Excellency, the illegal claim by Ethiopia on Badme and its environs was the genesis of the destructive and senseless war that led to all of these. Failure to accept the verdict on the issue that sparked the war is tantamount to 100% rejection of the EEBC decision, especially since the rest of the border was not an issue to begin with. Two years of Ethiopia's defiance of the rule of law has cost the international community millions of dollars and precious resources that could have been better utilized somewhere else.
Failure to put an end to Ethiopia's irresponsible behavior is severely hampering the initiation of reconciliation between and economic development in the countries. The people of Eritrea and Ethiopia deserve peace and stability, which is an essential condition for development and the eradication of poverty. Why your office and the rest of the international community continue to make apologies for Ethiopia's repeated transgressions when it does not serve the best interest of the UN, the region as a whole and, most importantly, the peoples of Eritrea and Ethiopia, defies credible explanation. We believe this path will only lead to the cultivation of tension and hostility between the two countries.
Your Excellency, the present “impasse” is not due to lack of dialogue, as your office will have the world believe. Peace is not at hand only because Ethiopia has categorically refused to accept the EEBC Decision. The UN Security Council must discharge its responsibility by aggressively advocating for the implementation of the terms of the Algiers Agreement and the decision of the independent legal body, the EEBC. Failure to fulfill this responsibility will bring into question the integrity and efficacy of the UN. It will make a mockery of the sanctity of the colonial boundaries and set a dangerous precedent.
We urge the UNSC to stop Ethiopia's diversionary tactics and we appeal to you to not advocate or be a party to anything that implies the creation of an alternative mechanism to the final and binding legal decision, wittingly or unwittingly.
Your Excellency, what is needed is an immediate and unconditional implementation of the EEBC Decision. We also urge the UNSC to take the appropriate punitive measures against the party that has failed to abide by this legal decision.
Cc: Members of the UNSC
The European Union